You wouldn’t put a pot on the stove to boil and not give it a second thought, but plenty of business owners put their website on the back burner, at least until they realize it’s no longer performing as expected. This doesn’t mean it’s time to panic if you’re experiencing this problem, but a drop in ranking does require some detective work to figure out what’s going on so efforts can be made to get things back on track. To give you an idea of where you might want to focus your attention, the San Diego web design specialists at Saba SEO discuss five common reasons website rankings might take a tumble.
1. Website Changes
Even small design changes, such as adding a few more videos or changing the layout of one or two pages, can have a noticeable impact on rankings. Pull reports from Google Analytics to see if the problem is site-wide or confined to only one or two pages.
2. Technical SEO Issues
Technical SEO issues are often overlooked as a possible source of a ranking drop. These are the aspects of optimization that matter most to search engine crawlers. Common sources of technical SEO problems include:
- Issues with performance on mobile devices
- Site map inconsistencies
- HTML errors
- 404 errors
3. Meta Info Errors
The purpose of meta information is to provide details about the content of each page on your website. Determine if this might be the source of a dip in your site’s ranking by checking to see if your meta info has been removed accidentally. If your meta info is still there, perform a search for your business or your products and/or services to see if Google may have shortened or amended your meta descriptions.
4. Traffic Sources/Trends
Sometimes ranking dips are only temporary. This may be the case if you offer products or services that are more popular during certain seasons or times of the year. With situations like this, some adjustments to your marketing strategy could help you retain interest in your business even during the slower times of the year.
Consider the sources of your traffic as well. If your GA reports show a drop in organic traffic, you likely have SEO issues that need to be addressed (e.g., site maps, robots.txt, or issues with your content). If the problem is with your paid traffic, check things like the keywords you’re using in your ads, the ad copy itself, and the quality of the landing pages connected to your ads.
5. Algorithm/Ranking Factor Updates
Google regularly tinkers with its algorithms. Normally, such changes result in little or no noticeable ranking changes, but this isn’t always the case. Also, be mindful of any changes in Google’s ranking factors. A big one these days is mobile friendliness. For instance, Google now takes mobile page speed into consideration for ranking purposes, so it might be a good idea to go to Google’s Search Console and use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how your site is performing for mobile visitors.
A good place to start when trying to figure out what’s going on with your website is with an audit of your site. SEMrush has a handy tool you can use to find and correct on-site issues. Google Search Console can also provide some useful info. Another good first step is to check your website’s tracking code. Changes to website code or analytics plug-ins can cause fluctuations in how your site’s stats are captured. Finally, if you do need to make some adjustments to your website to fix any of the issues discussed above, allow some time for those changes to be reflected in your stats.
Even if your site is ranking relatively well, paying constant attention to issues like the ones discussed above will likely increase your online ranking. A professional San Diego web design firm can help you keep up with the trends you need to know about. For over ten years, Saba SEO has designed websites for businesses all over the world. In addition to web design, we also offer search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media management services. Whether you need basic SEO services or improvements to your website, give us a call at 858-277-1717.